The Critically Endangered Rhombophryne matavy is thought to be endemic to the Forêt d’Ambre Special Reserve in the extreme north of Madagascar.
Due to the fossorial behaviour of this species, meaning the species spends much of its time beneath the soil, it is difficult to find. Rhombophryne matavy is currently known from a single, small location, but may occur more widely.
There has been uncertainty around the taxonomy of this species following its description in 2010. However, it is likely that the genus to which this frog belongs diverged from all other living amphibians around 35 million years ago.
The species is currently listed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN Red List as the species inhabits an area less than 50 km², and all individuals found are from one threat-defined location. This species’ forest habitat has been heavily altered by human activities and continues to be at risk from deforestation caused by agricultural clearance (for banana, coffee, maize and papaya), charcoal production and timber production. The species occurs in a reserve but still requires an immediate conservation management action.
- Order: Anura
- Family: Microhylidae
- Population: Locally abundant
- Trend: decreasing
- Size: 49mm
The species is endemic to the Forêt d’Ambre Special Reserve in the extreme north of Madagascar, around 482 metres above sea level.
Habitat and Ecology
This species lives in lowland transitional rainforest. Males call from the ground in the leaf litter and they have also been found calling from a burrow near the base of the tree. It is likely to have non-feeding tadpoles and the development of juveniles probably takes places in burrows in the soil with some degree of parental care.